Research Topic

Arbiters of Expression: The Effect Of ncRNA Expression in Pathogen-Infected Livestock

About this Research Topic

At the genomic level, biological processes are regulated by the interplay of non-coding and coding RNA. In the past, these gene-poor regions of sequences and molecules were considered “junk.” However, the role these non-coding RNAs play in expression ranges from variants marking quantitative traits to small molecules involved in epigenomic mechanisms of control. The ability of ncRNAs to bolster or undermine host immunity to pathogens has become a topic of great interest. The most studied of these arbiters of gene control are the micro RNAs (miRNAs) that regulate coding RNA (mRNA) transcript expression through binding of untranslated regions. Under pathogen infection, miRNAs can act as either friend or foe, prompting studies into their functions. In multiple studies of pathogen-infected livestock, it has been shown that infection alters miRNA profiles, but also triggers specific miRNAs that disrupt viral activity. Further research is needed into miRNAs and other non-coding (ncRNAs) with expression-altering abilities like small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) involved in post-transcriptional modifications and splicing, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that have therapeutic applications, and various long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) with regulatory capacity.

While we have gained more understanding of mRNA expression and the effect it has on the immune response to pathogens in livestock, the role ncRNA classes play in a host’s resilience or susceptibility is less clear. More needs to be understood about the interplay between ncRNAs and mRNA and how it impacts the immune response in pathogen-infected livestock. Non-coding RNA expression represents a means for examination and interpretation of biological control mechanisms that can act on mRNA in an epigenetic fashion that may impart further knowledge on the regulation of biological processes and pathways. Study of the relationship of ncRNA classes and host immune responses can serve to open paths that improve comprehension of the pathogen itself, new vaccine targets, and therapies. The goal of this collection will be to elucidate the role that dynamic changes in non-coding RNAs have on mediating mRNA and pathway expression in relation to livestock immune responses, a process that ultimately impacts the creation of expressed proteins and affects host health, homeostasis, and metabolism. Application of next generation sequencing and bioinformatic tools will provide for examination of ncRNA and mRNA interactions. Integration of these tools with multiple “Omics” analysis methods can then provide insight into gene activity and regulation to help better explain host-pathogen interactions

The scope of the research featured will be to elucidate the role that dynamic changes in non-coding RNAs have on mediating mRNA expression. The focus of the Research Topic will examine changes in expression of any/all small or long non-coding RNAs in the course of stressors encompassing viral, bacterial, and parasitic illness in livestock. Research is welcome from all disciplines carrying out studies investigating changes in the expression and/or interaction of any of the multiple classes of sncRNA or LncRNA in relation to livestock illnesses. The issue will accept Original Research, Review, Methods, and Technology and Code articles. Topics include but are not limited to:

o Effect of ncRNA expression on immune responses.
o Studies on all classes ncRNAs and any interactions involving mRNA and biological pathways.
o Host-pathogen interactions (host or pathogen non-coding RNA expression).
o Injury response.
o Environmental stressors and expression (resilience, susceptibility, acclimatization).
o Methods for detection, study, or application (use) of ncRNAs (ex. gene silencing using siRNA).
o Novel sncRNA/LncRNA discovery or annotation.


Keywords: Non-coding, Bioinformatics, Immunity, Pathogen, Livestock


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

At the genomic level, biological processes are regulated by the interplay of non-coding and coding RNA. In the past, these gene-poor regions of sequences and molecules were considered “junk.” However, the role these non-coding RNAs play in expression ranges from variants marking quantitative traits to small molecules involved in epigenomic mechanisms of control. The ability of ncRNAs to bolster or undermine host immunity to pathogens has become a topic of great interest. The most studied of these arbiters of gene control are the micro RNAs (miRNAs) that regulate coding RNA (mRNA) transcript expression through binding of untranslated regions. Under pathogen infection, miRNAs can act as either friend or foe, prompting studies into their functions. In multiple studies of pathogen-infected livestock, it has been shown that infection alters miRNA profiles, but also triggers specific miRNAs that disrupt viral activity. Further research is needed into miRNAs and other non-coding (ncRNAs) with expression-altering abilities like small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) involved in post-transcriptional modifications and splicing, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that have therapeutic applications, and various long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) with regulatory capacity.

While we have gained more understanding of mRNA expression and the effect it has on the immune response to pathogens in livestock, the role ncRNA classes play in a host’s resilience or susceptibility is less clear. More needs to be understood about the interplay between ncRNAs and mRNA and how it impacts the immune response in pathogen-infected livestock. Non-coding RNA expression represents a means for examination and interpretation of biological control mechanisms that can act on mRNA in an epigenetic fashion that may impart further knowledge on the regulation of biological processes and pathways. Study of the relationship of ncRNA classes and host immune responses can serve to open paths that improve comprehension of the pathogen itself, new vaccine targets, and therapies. The goal of this collection will be to elucidate the role that dynamic changes in non-coding RNAs have on mediating mRNA and pathway expression in relation to livestock immune responses, a process that ultimately impacts the creation of expressed proteins and affects host health, homeostasis, and metabolism. Application of next generation sequencing and bioinformatic tools will provide for examination of ncRNA and mRNA interactions. Integration of these tools with multiple “Omics” analysis methods can then provide insight into gene activity and regulation to help better explain host-pathogen interactions

The scope of the research featured will be to elucidate the role that dynamic changes in non-coding RNAs have on mediating mRNA expression. The focus of the Research Topic will examine changes in expression of any/all small or long non-coding RNAs in the course of stressors encompassing viral, bacterial, and parasitic illness in livestock. Research is welcome from all disciplines carrying out studies investigating changes in the expression and/or interaction of any of the multiple classes of sncRNA or LncRNA in relation to livestock illnesses. The issue will accept Original Research, Review, Methods, and Technology and Code articles. Topics include but are not limited to:

o Effect of ncRNA expression on immune responses.
o Studies on all classes ncRNAs and any interactions involving mRNA and biological pathways.
o Host-pathogen interactions (host or pathogen non-coding RNA expression).
o Injury response.
o Environmental stressors and expression (resilience, susceptibility, acclimatization).
o Methods for detection, study, or application (use) of ncRNAs (ex. gene silencing using siRNA).
o Novel sncRNA/LncRNA discovery or annotation.


Keywords: Non-coding, Bioinformatics, Immunity, Pathogen, Livestock


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

22 January 2021 Abstract
21 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

22 January 2021 Abstract
21 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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